Bronze

……………Tower bells beat the door
of the sky and so call those who hear
the toll of marriage or mourning or time
passing, before the bronze goes still.
Today I hear all those calls at once,
leaning from the chamber—a rapture
that bears, I know, a given message,
though I like to think the music has its own.
So too its own cloud swept through
the parapet, where the temple scaffolds
rise and fall over the face and stones
of a great design, the one I never see.
I, a mongrel, married a Jew, my table
crowned in candles whose light and honey
smokes the air, and they are not mine,
these dispensations echoed at the altar,
not mine, the music of my home,
though it marries me to the silence after.
Call me a follower then, a mute observer,
a bit of stone against the larger burden.
I married a battered child, the girl
in her broken by a stranger again
and again like a wave inside a shell.
Whenever I hear bells, I think of this,
unable to say what needs to be said
or hear the broken silence when it speaks.
Nights I am awakened by her breathing,
and still I dream. Still her heart beats
its bronze against a sky I cannot enter.
And when she moans, I shake her gently.
It’s okay, I answer. That’s all it takes.
A stage whisper, and she mumbles, thank you,
love you, without opening her eyes.

Bruce Bond

Bruce Bond

Bruce Bond is the author of twenty-five books including, most recently, Immanent Distance: Poetry and the Metaphysics of the Near at Hand (U of MI, 2015), Black Anthem (Tampa Review Prize, U of Tampa, 2016), Gold Bee (Helen C. Smith Award, Crab Orchard Award, Southern Illinois University Press, 2016), Sacrum (Four Way Books, 2017), Blackout Starlight: New and Selected Poems 1997-2015 (L.E. Phillabaum Award, LSU, 2017), Rise and Fall of the Lesser Sun Gods (Elixir Book Prize, Elixir Press, 2018), Dear Reader (Free Verse Editions, 2018), and Frankenstein’s Children (Lost Horse).Presently he is a Regents Professor of English at University of North Texas. His most recent books are Words Written Against the Walls of the City (LSU, 2019), Plurality and the Poetics of Self (Palgrave, 2019), and Scar (Etruscan, 2020).
Bruce Bond

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Author: Bruce Bond

Bruce Bond is the author of twenty-five books including, most recently, Immanent Distance: Poetry and the Metaphysics of the Near at Hand (U of MI, 2015), Black Anthem (Tampa Review Prize, U of Tampa, 2016), Gold Bee (Helen C. Smith Award, Crab Orchard Award, Southern Illinois University Press, 2016), Sacrum (Four Way Books, 2017), Blackout Starlight: New and Selected Poems 1997-2015 (L.E. Phillabaum Award, LSU, 2017), Rise and Fall of the Lesser Sun Gods (Elixir Book Prize, Elixir Press, 2018), Dear Reader (Free Verse Editions, 2018), and Frankenstein’s Children (Lost Horse). Presently he is a Regents Professor of English at University of North Texas. His most recent books are Words Written Against the Walls of the City (LSU, 2019), Plurality and the Poetics of Self (Palgrave, 2019), and Scar (Etruscan, 2020).